I'm in my early 40's and in my second marriage for 13 years. My first unfortunately ended in divorce after my wife took a liking to a high school boy (she was 25). I fought to get joint custody, then finally custody of her daughter that I adopted and our son. I met my current wife and we hit it off well, for the last 13 years. Like all marriages, there are ups and downs, but more ups than anything else. I took in her two children and after a year, we had one of our own. That brings the total to 5. My adopted daughter has married and is doing well with her enlisted husband. My son from my first marriage is now 18, her daughter is 17 and her son is 13. Our son is 11.
She has always treated my son differently, and blames him for anything that goes wrong. He has never been in any serious trouble (other than the basic speeding ticket and smoking a cigarette). For these things, he has been on driving restriction off and on for 18 months. During this time, she secretly put her daughter (15 at the time) on birth control and allows her to stay out past 2:00 am with her boyfriend, even though I felt 10:00 pm was late. If I say anything to the daughter, she is allowed to scream, leave the room and call me foul names. My son has never called her a bad name (at least, that I have seen). I tried explaining that teenagers are difficult at times, they need support but also guidance. We are not their friends, we are their parents. The difference in how we see this one aspect has been the source of most of our downs. These are things that I thought we had worked through. Now to the heart of my question.
I get up in the morning, make the kids lunch and take them to school before going to work. Now that my son is old enough to drive, he takes them to school, I just have to make sure they are ready and have lunches. My wife picks up the youngest from school and my son brings the others home. I work a full time job an hour away, which means I'm gone from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm. I come in from work, cook everyone dinner and clean up afterwards. I also have two part time jobs, both done from home. So money is never an issue. When not a work, I am at home or with the kids at one of the many activies that they are involved in. I coach baseball and soccer. I take my wife shopping each weekend. One night is grocery and dinner and the other is spent looking around in malls and such. I never restrict what she spends, she manages the budget. She does not work outside of the home. When the children were young, we thought it best to avoid daycare if we could (hence the 3 jobs). Since then, I have tried to get her to seek a part-time job or go to college and find something that she wants to do. In the last year, she has started staying up later and later at night and sleeping later during the day. Most days, she is not up before 11:00. Which she then spends 1 and 1/2 hours on the phone, and does about an hour of housework before picking up our son from school. At which point she normally has a headache so she reads until I get home and get dinner cooked. By the time I get the kitchen cleaned back up, spend some time with the kids, and help them get up their messes or any homework issues then in bed, I'm wore out. By the time I sit down each night, it is 9:30 or 10:00 and I am ready for bed by 11:00. But she is not. I don't like to go to bed without her, so eventually I fall asleep sitting on the coach waiting. This difference in sleep times has caused some of our downs. She wants me to stay up and show her some affection, I try some nights, but it is hard to only get 3 or 4 hours of sleep and be able to do my job. So I do my best to make up for it all three nights on the weekend, again one of the downs, because she says that it is only when I want to stay up not her.
For the last two weeks, she has been doing very little around the house. She created a Facebook account (to stay in touch with other moms from school, band, dance, soccer, and so on). She has spent almost every moment on there. Playing games and chatting. I have now have had to start handling the laundry and most of the housework. She now stays up to 4:30 or 5:00 am (with me asleep on the couch) and sleeping later and later. Well, I come home from work yesterday and she tells me she is unhappy and has been for over 5 years. (Keep in mind, just the weekend before, holding hands in the mall, laying her head on my shoulder. She bought 3 pairs of boots, and about 5 outfits and we had a great dinner and evenings). Just Wednesday, I worked from home and she sat on my lap, picked and everything seemed fine. So last night, she says she needs to spend a couple of days away from me, and packed to go to her Grandmother's house. After finishing the six loads of laundry that was behind, I checked to see if she had called and I missed it. There I find a long distance number that I did not recognize. After some research, I find it is a guy who lives 18 hours away, he is 36 and divorced. I checked his Facebook and see that they became "FaceBook friends" Wednesday night. They exchanged phone numbers and cute little messages and since then used up 290 phone minutes and over 50 text and picture messages. I called to find out what was going on this morning. She didn't get up until noon because she was up to 4:30 talking and texting this person. She was mad at me because I looked this up and says that I am being silly, it was none of my business and that they are just friends and it has nothing to do with why she is not here. Again, it is all mine and my sons fault. So here I sit, with the kids, trying to find answers.
Was I wrong to be worried about the phone calls?
Am I just being silly?
Should I try to fix this?
Again I ask, What did I do that was so wrong?
OK, here's an update. As of this morning, 710 minutes and close to 200 texts from her grandmother's house. She denies he is more than an friend and accuses me of being rediculous. I did check to make sure that she was where she said she was.
Until this morning, I had no idea what an "emotional affair" was. I read the topics and information trying to find an answer. I finally have a clue.
I have decided to tell her to end it with him and facebook or end it with me. Being a computer professional, I can see whom she talks to and when on both our phones and any of our computers.
I am taking the day off of work tomorrow to get control of my finances (my first wife cleaned me out when she left). She said she is coming home from her grandmother's today. I will put my thoughts and feelings in a letter and leave it with my ring before going to work.
I have had the time over the last two days to see a little more clearly. I never saw myself as a push over, actually when it comes to her, I have worshipped the ground that she walks on. I am no longer going to be a "doormat". I always felt that hard work pays off, so when something needed to be done, I did it. I was only trying to be the best husband and father that I can.
Note to all newbies: spend some time reading other people's post's before starting a thread of your own. Save everyone some time.
Of COURSE this is inappropriate. Textbook inappropriate. Be sure to call her at grandma's. Ask granny innocent questions about where she's been and what she may be doing. DO NOT let her bully you into thinking you are out of bounds by "spying". She's WAY out of line.
I do have a word of advice for you, and it will probably not be popular advice.
You are 100% correct--your wife is having an emotional affair. In short, they may not have slept together yet but she is clearly emotionally entangled with this other man. When she says that you are being ridiculous and they are just friends, there is an easy test to tell if it's ridiculous. Does she spend 710 minutes and over 200 texts WITH YOU (her husband and the man to whom she has made a vow)? If the answer is "no" (and I bet that is the answer) then it is not ridiculous and is an issue in your marriage that she is turning to someone else to meet some of her needs.
Soooo...I would advise two things. The first is to investigate enough so that you have proof that it is beyond "just friends." You say you are a computer-savvy person, so look for emails, chat files, record phone calls--whatever you need to do just to have reasonable, documentable proof of what is ACTUALLY occurring. I would suggest that you don't need to go all commando undercover investigator here; however the disloyal person will often deny that anything is going on even sometimes after being shown undeniable proof! So find what you would consider in your best judgment to be proof of what's going on--either to document her assertion it is just a friendship (which is HIGHLY unlikely), or to reasonably document it has gone well beyond that.
Second, once you have what you determine is reasonable documentation, I suggest that you do exactly what you were going to do--directly request that she end ALL CONTACT with the person on Facebook and never, ever contact him again--and that she allow you to document her truthfulness in that lack of contact for a set amount of time to reassure you and build the trust she has destroyed. Assuming that it IS an emotional affair, and assuming she refuses to do so, I would recommend what I can "disclosure." Speak to your pastor or minister, her parents or family, and your parents or family who would be people she respects and people who are Pro-marriage and help you talk sense to her. This is not to "tattle-tale" but rather to have a support network who will tell her the truth: that the marriage may not have been perfect but she made a covenant with you to be your wife, and that she needs to stop this silly flirting with the other man and return to her marriage and work it out. Now, not all parents or family members are like that. Some might encourage her to "do what she has to do to be happy" (which is just silly), so those are NOT the folks I'm talking about here. I'm talking about people she would respect; her wise counsel; or wise people who can support you and encourage you and give you good direction through this trial.
Finally, may I politely point out something? If you earn the money for the cell phone and the internet access, just stop paying for it. Nothing personal but why should you financially contribute to her contacting her lover?
You need to hire a PI to get proof and contact info on this guy. Then you sit down and call your wife's parents, siblings, and best friends, and tell them she's having an affair and ask for them to help by talking to her. Then you call the other man's parents and siblings. Then you get on facebook and try to get hold of all of her friends and his friends, and let them know. Then sit back and let the affair implode. In the meantime, be as amazing as possible - the best husband you can be, so that, when she stops being mad, and the guy dumps her cos she's too much trouble, she looks around, and there you still are.
Oh, and stop paying for her to live at home. There's no reason she can't get a job now that the kids are older. Especially now, since YOU do all the housework that SHE should be doing as a housewife.
Stay strong. She is having an emotional affair. Put all bank accounts and cc in your name. Cut her off financially. She needs to have a rude awakening regarding what single life is like for a cheating SAHM......Poor.
Thanks to all for the help. We spoke last night, the words she used were I love you, but I am not in love with you. I called the person, after doing some research. He claimed to be a Physocologist, and saw that my wife could use a friend and claims to be trying only to help her get her life together, now to the tune of 1360 minutes and 150 text messages. He is really a mobile home mechanic, that has injured his ankle, is in the middle of a divorce and custody battle for 3 kids. I now know why he is divorced. I politly let him know that he is ruining the lives of 4 children and two adults that he never met. Needless to say, his quote was we are just friends. Now we get to the hard parts. She packed along with her 17 year old daughter and left. Saying she doesn't know what she wants and is not willing to give up her new friend. She had the nerve to ask me if I would be upset if she drove to Memphis, which is halfway between where he lives and we lived, next weekend as a group of "facebook poker friends" just happen to be having a "friend gathering" at that time. I told her that I would be very unhappy with that and that it is well beyond inappropriate. Not to mention that she only started talking to the person on Wednesday, it goes well beyond dangerous. When we were together, she would not go to the store alone, or drive at night. This drive is an 8 hour drive. I did speak with her mother, whom was just as shocked and upset as I was. Don't know if that will help. If she does go, it is done. I am going to speak with an attorney today to check my rights and see what I need to do. If she does not go, and she comes to her senses before then, I will listen. I now have my oldest son, my step son, and our son with me. She said she would pick them up from school and bring them to our home until I get in.
So now, not only am I lost, I am waiting to see if she is willing to destroy her family over a little excitement.
Oh oh Lost... she has already destroyed it. Go to the lawyer... she has been walking all over you well before this happened. EA aside, she has you cooking, cleaning and taking care of all the kids while she doesnt work outside the home. Cut off her credit card immediately and see how far she gets on her way to Memphis... pretty hard to get there when you dont have gas money!!!
I am 100% serious about this... cut off her phone, internet and her credit cards and transfer all $ to a solo bank account in your name only... she has been using them for this EA and supporting her leisure lifestyle. Document with the lawyer today why you have had to do these limitations on her so you dont look like a jerk.
Dont think, do it. If you think about it, your emotions are going to let you slide one though like you have been doing all along.
If you 2 reconcile in the future, perhaps you can add back one credit card with a low limit until you can trust her again. But for now, she need to learn a lesson.
I have to agree with Choose2Love. Anything she earns, she can keep...but if you earn it, there is no reason whatsoever for you to foot the bill for her affair. You can protect your FAMILY finances by making sure your mortgage and legitimate bills are paid, and making sure your FAMILY money is spent for things like groceries for the children--not her lover.
See right now she is in a fantasy, thinking she'll get the house, the kids, child support and alimony. You'll move out--she gets to basically live like she has been on your money--he'll move in--and he's different...he actually knows her and loves her. Well let me tell you that is pure fantasy!!! They have only been meeting one or two emotional needs for flirting on the internet, and there are two major strikes against him: Can he REALLY provide for his ex and her financially like you can? and Can he really be trusted to be faithful to her because he's already proven he's willing to cheat when he's "not happy"...so the minute she doesn't make him happy he's willing to move on!
Seriously. Protect your finances, do it today, and let her begin to experience the consequences of her choices. This is not mean or petty--it is LOVING and hopefully will help her learn the lesson quickly that she is choosing a fantasy.
He claimed to be a Physocologist, and saw that my wife could use a friend and claims to be trying only to help her get her life together, now to the tune of 1360 minutes and 150 text messages. He is really a mobile home mechanic,
... so in order to gain her trust and interest he lied! OY!
I do have one compassionate suggestion for you as well. One of the things that makes it REALLY hard to stop an affair is that they give the same pleasure serotonin hormones to your brain as being high on drugs. So in effect, you're asking your wife to go "cold turkey" off drugs. If you think of the affair in that light--that right now she has feelings similar to being high--in a way some of her reactions make sense. She is becoming addicted to the "high" feeling and doesn't want to stop it, and just like a drug-addict she'll do almost anything to continue it. So be someone who actually LOVES her and help her break this addiction.
Trying to get in touch with an atorney now. I had to go to the doc this morning, blood pressure through the roof. He added an additional one to take at night. He said it may help me sleep more that the one or two hours that I had over the last couple of nights. We I came back home, she was here, on facebook. She asked me why I wasn't at work. I told her that I was a little sick and couldn't make the hour comute in the bad weather this morning. She was doing her and her sisters laundry and was going to take a shower. She insisted that I was making this uncomfortable and should not be here. I gave her an hour, and went to pick up lunch. She was leaving when I returned and did not even bother to speak. How can someone go from sending love texts 3 weeks ago, to not even speaking to you if you did nothing wrong? This whole thing is bizzare!!
Since you did the budget for so many years, I have no clue about the bills. I did get her to give me the check books and the budget book. That will take me a day or two to get managable. By then I will have talked to an attorney to make sure that I don't do anything to comprimise myself in court. My biggest fear now is that she will try to behave if I start this process and out of spite, try to take everything plus alimony. It will be a huge battle if we can't aleast work out joint custody.
Now that I am pretty sure that it is over, it may be best to let her go to Memphis, at least I will stand a better chance of making it through this with a little dignity and a strong case for keeping my son!
Still lost, but getting this guidance is reassuring me that I am not over-reacting. That is definitely a glimmer of light.
I hope you are still online! Dont ask HER for the bank books! Go straight to the bank, take your identification and marriage certificate if you are not on the account. You need to open a new account in your name only and transfer all the money that is yours to that account, Im assuming all of it since she doesnt work.
DO NOT go to her and communicate further to her that she has all the power she thinks she has!!!! Go straight to the bank, please.
I had to leave to pick up one of the kids, the other does not get out until 5:00. I will not be able to make it there before it closes. I don't think that she would try to clean it out just yet. I believe the earlier post was correct, she is high on the excitement and the site of my brings her down. I don't want to rush until I talk to the attorney to make sure that I don't do something that could cause me an issue later. I want her to believe that all is well. I feel she will hang herself in her own noose soon enough. The money in the bank can be easily replaced, it is not a huge amount. Now that I know this months bills are already paid. I know where I stand and how much money is in each of our accounts. She would cut her own throat to take out all the money, she is not thinking of that right now. It won't change this week, if she goes out of town this weekend, I'll let her have that little bit of money, because the rest will be taken care of before she gets back and it will pretty much guarentee that I will at least get temporay custody of our son. And maybe get out of paying alimony. The hard part is sticking to my guns and not giving in on the anger, hurt, and building resentment by the day. I know it sounds like a gamble, but I will make sure that I have the lawyers backing my monday to take care of this either way. Money has never been a big factor to me, I just made it. I could not even give you an idea of how much was in the savings until earlier today. She knows this about me, and is counting on it.
From this point forward I want you to try to step back and think about this objectively a second. As long as she is in the affair with the mobile home repairman, the woman you once knew as your wife is no longer there. It may help to think of her as an addict or as if she's been taken over by aliens. Want some proof that she's not in there?
"When I came back home, she was here, on facebook. She asked me why I wasn't at work. I told her that I was a little sick and couldn't make the hour commute in the bad weather this morning. ...She insisted that I was making this uncomfortable and should not be here. ...She was leaving when I returned and did not even bother to speak." You LIVE there! It's your home, your wife and your bedroom. You are where you are supposed to be, and with who you are supposed to be with. You are not the one making this uncomfortable. That would either be her or mobile home repairman! And having an affair should NOT be "comfortable." Losing a spouse, children, a life, dreams of the future--none of that should be "comfortable." So see? She is not in there there.
Since she is NOT in there--and the person before you is not the woman you love and trust, it is not reasonable to expect that she will act "like she always has." She will NOT think of you or think of the kids or what it's doing to them or your lives. She will not be reasonable or normal. I guarantee you she will do things that will make your head spin saying, "Who is this woman?" So act like you are protecting yourself. If you're willing to let the savings account go, that's your prerogative, but switch the auto-deposit of your paycheck to an account that she temporarily can not drain. Then set up all household bills to be auto-paid from there. This will NOT be something that could cause a legal issue later as you'll be able to document that you continued to provide for the family and their needs while she attempted to use the family's money for her lover. For legal things all you have to do is document.
HOWEVER, I will say this one thing. I'm proud of you for taking the step of getting legal protection. That is a big, scary step, and you did it. Good job! Now do a few more steps that protect you and your children and don't make it "easy" and "comfortable" for her to have her affair. She's doing her sister's laundry? Does her sister know that she's having an affair? Would her sister take kindly to the fact that her sister is trying to sneak off to Memphis to be with a mobile home repairman?
Finally, it's cool to do things that are strong and brave to protect yourself, but it is entirely possible she'll go to Memphis, get there, see him in real life and think to herself "WHAT in the world am I doing!??" If that is the case, it's up to you, but you may want to give her an opportunity to save some face and come back --know what I mean? So if you do decide to let her go with what's in the savings account, you may want to consider what you'll do if she comes back determined to continue her affair, and what you'll do if she comes back thinking "What the heck am I doing?"
Great points, I found my attorney from my first divorce/custoday battle. She was able to help me retain my custody for my older son and adopted daughter. She should be able to help me with this. I got the information for counselling through work and my boss is very willing to help me out. I have a meeting with him tomorrow morning. Maybe he can help me work with me around my new single father schedule of 3 boys.
I also got the boys to help me get our evening chores comleted, A. It seems to help them get all this forr a little while